I heard an interesting story this morning on NPR. It was basically refuting a decade-old study that found parenting leads to unhappiness. New research suggests it is the mundane daily tasks that make us unhappy – not the overall parenting. For example, changing a diaper may not peak your happiness scale – but spending quality time with your baby will.
That story got me thinking about the last four days I have spent with my kids. They didn’t have school Friday or Monday, so we took off from work and headed out to the cabin. Our family was joined by my best friend, her husband and their four kids. Collectively, that meant seven kids running around at all times.
The weekend was – in a word – great. It made me happy. But, if I go back and think about the 47 times my toddler threw a fit that he didn’t get to ride the snowmachine or the times my older kids were arguing over petty little things – I might be drawn to say I was unhappy in those moments. However, overall, the trip was fun. A lot of fun. The kids had a blast and made a lot of memories.
My own favorite childhood memories mostly involve camping in our trailer in Ninilchik. We’d go fishing, clamming or just play. It was a blast. I want my kids to have cherished memories like that. Our cabin offers that – a respite away from the day-to-day stuff. All we do is play, eat and sleep. Yes, all those things make me happy.
Are you happy? What leads to your happiness? What have you done today that has made you happy?